In this week's essential reading guide, Kohler explains why Telstra needs to do a deal with the government at any price, Gottliebsen reveals why Australia's risk premium is rising, Bartholmeusz asks how affordable the NBN really is, and Maley looks at the cracks opening throughout Europe.

Telstra's goose is cooked
Alan Kohler
Telstra's board can forget about holding out for $12 billion, including compensation for closing the copper network earlier than envisaged in the Telstra sale documents. Just take whatever the government's offering and run.

Rudd's mask is off
Alan Kohler
The cynicism of politicians is usually covered by the mask of conviction, but Kevin Rudd has thrown all that aside. The resource super profits tax is nothing more than a bare-faced attempt to cling to power.

Welcome to high-risk Australia
Robert Gottliebsen
As markets teeter, international bankers are already raising the risk premia for large-scale lending. Now the Rudd government has given them a second reason to charge more for funding projects in Australia.

Pushing Australians to work longer
Robert Gottliebsen
Most of the Henry tax review recommendations on superannuation are too politically sensitive to introduce now, but expect to see them after the election.

Shock! Study finds NBN viable
Stephen Bartholomeusz
When it comes to the national broadband network, affordability is in the eye of the beholder. With so much leverage in the government's numbers, ensuring the project is viable will be tough.

Keeping hikes in reserve
Stephen Bartholomeusz
The RBA is on the cusp of a new phase of monetary policy, but any signs of government largesse or economic bubbles will see it erring on the side of caution.

Cracks multiply in Europe
Karen Maley
The European banking system is under huge strain. Banks are increasingly reluctant to lend to each other as bourses take major hits both at home and abroad.

The great Greek bailout ruse
Karen Maley
A leading economist argues that the Greek 'rescue' numbers just don't add up, and that the true intent of the package is to shift massive losses onto French and German taxpayers to protect the banks.

MARK-2-MARKET: American pig
Mark Carnegie
All eyes are on Europe and its sovereign debt woes, but could the next 'Greece' be a stricken state of the US?

Hot rocks need cold hard cash
Giles Parkinson
Besides exploration of geothermal, wind, wave and solar projects, Australia's clean-tech leaders are now hoping to find tax and other incentives in Canberra to unlock a wave of renewable investment.

Overruling consenting adults
Nicholas Way
Fair Work Australia's rejection of McDonald's new deal with employees because it fails the 'no disadvantage' test has left the union that supported the deal red-faced.


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